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The Rundown: Please Let Jack Black Play The Villain In The Next Paddington Movie

The Rundown is a weekly column that highlights some of the biggest, weirdest, and most notable events of the week in entertainment. The number of items could vary, as could the subject matter. It will not always make a ton of sense. Some items might not even be about entertainment, to be honest, or from this week. The important thing is that it’s Friday, and we are here to have some fun.

ITEM NUMBER ONE – Listen to me

A couple very important things happened this week and I need to cover them quickly so I can get to the business at hand. There is no time for an actual introductory paragraph. We are diving right in this week.

NUMBER ONE: The third Paddington movie was finally, officially announced. It will be called Paddington in Peru and it will probably, uh, take place in Peru, where Paddington is from. This is thrilling because I love that freaking guy. I’m not saying that to be ironic or cute. Paddington 2 is a full-on legit good movie. Hugh Grant plays the bad guy and absolutely gorges on all the scenery and it’s just a delightful little work of art from beginning to end. Watch it this weekend. By yourself, if you want. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone.

NUMBER TWO: Jack Black, a wonderful man who I love very much, was on the red carpet this week for the new Super Mario movie, in which he voices Bowser, and he said the words at the end of this paragraph:

In the movie, Black plays a heavy metal-inspired Bowser whose relationship with Peach isn’t quite captor and captive. And while he “needed to be evil enough that the stakes are high for the characters,” according to Miyamoto, “Bowser has evolved into a unique, lovable villain. You do find cuteness in him.” For Black, the challenge was playing both those notes. “I needed to bring the fire, thunder and brimstone,” he says, “while also finding the sympathetic parts of Bowser.”

“I needed to bring the fire, thunder, and brimstone, while also finding the sympathetic parts of Bowser.”

This is… incredible. Just an incredible sentence, straight-through, one I suspect had never been said before in the English language prior to that moment. I have been thinking about it a lot. And I’ve also been thinking about the next Paddington movie. And then I thought about this…

We should let (or, if necessary, make) Jack Black play the villain in the third Paddington movie. My reasoning for this is based on three equally important factors.

ONE: He would be so good at it. He’s got that playful little devious twinkle in his eye at all times and he’s not afraid to go huge with a performance when it warrants it and he can sing really well if we want to have him put on a little show. He has a history with adorable movies, too, given his role freaking 20 years ago in School of Rock. Picture Jack Black as some evil businessman trying to level acres of forest in Peru and Paddington thwarting him. Think about him yelling and raging at a little cute bear. Get a real good mental image of him housing like a dozen marmalade sandwiches in the third act, right when he starts getting won over by Paddington’s charm. You can see all of this crystal-clear, yes? I know I can.

TWO: He already has the hat from when he was in Jumanji.

Admittedly not as important as the first thing but still worth noting.

THREE: I would really like it. I would. It would make me so happy. I know Florence Pugh wants to get in there, too, and I love Florence and am happy to find her a place in the story, but I need to see Jack Black and Paddington in safari hats doing very polite battle in the wilderness. This is all I ask for. I do not think I am being unreasonable.

Thank you.

ITEM NUMBER TWO – Let’s all go see Barbie

This is the trailer for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie, which stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling and about 600 other people you know and which feels like it has been about to come out for like 18 months now. It looks fun as hell. The degree of difficulty is so high here, making a movie so blatantly tied to an iconic toy and/or product and/or lifestyle, but when it works, hoo buddy. Remember The LEGO Movie? That sucker had no right to be any good but there it was anyway winning hearts and maybe making me cry a little. Maybe that makes me a sucker. Eh. I’m okay with that.

But yes, I think we should all go see this. In the theater. Everyone. We deserve to have a little star-studded silly fun. Don’t get self-conscious about it. Call up your dudes and go see Barbie. Groups of bros rolling in thick to see a matinee of the pinkest movie ever made and then hitting the Red Robin next door for an early dinner. This is how we heal as a nation. Save me a seat in the back.

ITEM NUMBER THREE – Good for Ben Affleck

It appears Ben Affleck has fully leaned into his previously unofficial role as Dunkin brand ambassador, adding this new commercial to the one he did back in February for the Super Bowl. My response to this is pretty straightforward: Good. Good for Ben Affleck. People do advertisements for garbage products they don’t believe in all the time. That’s not what is happening here. Ben loves Dunkin so much. Like every paparazzi shot of him and Jennifer Lopez shows them coming into or out of one or just carrying cups of coffee from there as they walk around Beverly Hills. It’s refreshing to have a little honesty in commercials. Now we just need to get him in a Dunkin-themed movie. I have ideas.

Lots of places covered the ad when it dropped, but my favorite was the angle Boston dot com took, slapping the video in there under a headline that read: “Ben Affleck disses Matt Damon in new Dunkin’ Donuts commercial” Here was the diss in question:

“Were you in ‘The Departed?’” asks a cashier played by Matthew Maher, who you can see in Affleck’s upcoming movie “Air.”

“I’m Matt Damon,” Affleck says with a wry smile.

“Yeah, I love him, I love him,” Maher responds. “He’s had a really consistent career, I think.”

“Hmmmm, nah,” Affleck says, shaking his head. “I mean, some of his work.”

Brutal. I don’t see how the friendship survives this one, folks.

ITEM NUMBER FOUR – Let’s check in with Nicholas Braun

Okay, three things, and we can knock them out quick via bullet point:

  • Succession is back and humming along in its final season and I am all kinds of torn up because my beloved Cousin Greg, played by Nicholas Braun, is turning into the worst gangly entitled goon on the show
  • This is a post from Nicholas Braun’s Instagram and I really, REALLY need you to click through to see both of the slides here
  • This is incredible content

Give him a travel show.



I have good news and bad news…

GOOD: I ducked into Ross last weekend after grabbing lunch, just to bounce around and see if I could strike gold on some fun t-shirts for spr-… HOLY SHIT LOOK AT THAT SHIRT. It’s so beautiful. I gasped a little in the middle of the store when I saw the lightning bolts in there. This is art, to me. And it would be a hilarious shirt for me to wear, personally, because of the thing where I’m disabled and use a wheelchair and I would really enjoy seeing people’s faces as they try to process the handicapped man wearing the Fast & Furious t-shirt with lightning bolts on it. God, I wanted it.

BAD: They only had it in an adult small. I turned that place upside down looking for a large or extra large. No dice. Unbelievable. I don’t even know if there is a Fast & Furious fan in America who wears a men’s small. It is easily our country’s most “Big Gulp” movie franchise, which I saw with love. Sizes for these shirts should start at XXL. I’m legitimately upset. Today. Five full days later. I might never get over it.

That said, if you are or know a child or very small man who would like this shirt, let me know. I’ll be up that way this weekend again and can pick it up.


If you have questions about television, movies, food, local news, weather, or whatever you want, shoot them to me on Twitter or at (put “RUNDOWN” in the subject line). I am the first writer to ever answer reader mail in a column. Do not look up this last part.

From John:

I had a dream about how the Fast & Furious movies need to end. I don’t know if Fast-Ten is supposed to be the last one, but once you talk to the producers about this idea, they’ll have to make at least one more.

Basically, some arch-villain (who didn’t appear in the dream, so have fun casting that role) has been tracking the Family ever since they became super agents. They’ve been going to every crash site and fight location and collecting DNA, and now they’ve cloned everyone, and for their final ride the Family will have to take on…themselves.

Dom vs. Dom. Han vs. evil clone Han and evil clone Gisele. Statham has to fight his clone and his dead brother’s clone. For some reason Ludacris was cloned several times and he had to take on a whole squad of Ludacri. Then this part wasn’t in the dream, but they would have to do the classic scene where good Mia and evil clone Mia have guns drawn on each other and Dom has to figure out which one is is real sister.

To be clear:

  • I love this email very much and fully support people sending me full recountings of their most unhinged movie-related dreams, or any dream that I appear in for some reason, as long as I’m not being too weird in there
  • The villain is played by Walton Goggins

Thank you, John.


To Norway!

Police made the largest-ever cocaine seizure in Norway when they discovered 800 kilograms (1,760 pounds) of the drug in boxes of fruit in Oslo, officials said.





Police spokeswoman Grete Lien Metlid was quoted by NTB as saying that it was the largest seizure ever in Norway. She said that it was too early to say whether the cocaine was intended for the Norwegian market, or if Norway was being used as a transit point.

I’m sorry, I really am, but I’m going to have a tough time getting through the serious report about cocaine smuggling when extremely Norwegian names like this are just sprinkled in. This isn’t even the best one. Look at this paragraph.

The fruit boxes had arrived at a warehouse facility of Bama, a large Norwegian fruit and vegetable wholesaler, company spokesman Pia Gulbrandsen said in a statement.

A few things:

  • I would absolutely watch a whole multi-season television series about this that shifts focus between international cocaine smugglers trying to ship things through Scandinavia and the Norwegian authorities hellbent on stopping them
  • Imagine you’re working at a Norwegian fruit factory and you open a box that’s supposed to contain, like, grapefruit and you discover very many bags of cocaine
  • Pia Gulbrandsen

Moving on.

The previous largest seizure of cocaine in Norway was in 2013 when 153 kilograms (337 pounds), were seized, and in 2013 when 145 kilograms (319 pounds) of cocaine were hidden in banana boxes, the news agency said.


Well, now I definitely need that television show, if only for the scene where the drug kingpin decides to ship cocaine in a fruit box again because 10 years have passed and he thinks it’s safe and then this one gets busted and he shouts “GODDAMMIT” really loud in his mansion.

Please start production immediately.